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The Axe FX with the UAD Apollo

sbanville

Regular
Hi All,
I'm starting a new recording project using the Axe FX for my main guitar tones. In the past I've used traditional amps, mostly older boogies. What I'm trying to wrap my head around is whether or not using SPID/IF or the analog outs is the wy to go I like the principal behind using SPID/IF. Here are my questions:

1) When using SPID/IF out into UAD console, should I just keep the panning at 12:00 and just choose SPID/IF/ left or right in my DAW (Pro tools)
2) I have patches with single and double cabs, is this worth it, or is it best to just use a single cab sum l/r ?

I've heard so many amazing recordings from people on this forum and I would love to hear what people are using as recording techniques with the Axe FX.

Thanks,

Steve
 

bradlake

Axe-Master
I’m not a pro tools guy so I can’t give specific advice,but as a longtime advocate of both axe Fx and Apollo (I use Logic), SPDIF is very dependable as long all projects are on 48k, but it is so easy to have both options at your fingertips, I advise to have an analog in as well.
 
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barhrecords

Axe-Master
Whether or not you record L/R or just L or just R depends on the preset programming and your project. It is not a Pro Tools or S/PDIF specific issue.

Do you need to record stereo guitar tracks? Are your Fractal presets programmed such that L and R have different audio?

I track the Fractal XL+ analog out into Apollo. The results are great.
 

sbanville

Regular
I guess like everything else, there is no right or wrong way to do things. I'm going to to try using the analog outputs as well.
All my guitar tracks in PT are mono, so I don't use stereo effects in my presets.
 

mjlongo

Regular
I've heard so many amazing recordings from people on this forum and I would love to hear what people are using as recording techniques with the Axe FX.
I don't really even understand what SPID/IF is (haha) so I'll just respond that I recorded my album via my Axe FX plugged straight into the USB port of my PC and then routed that into my DAW which is Ableton Live. I setup a pretty basic "recording" patch on my Axe FX via finding an amp/cab combination that suited the sound I was looking for. In a nutshell, I made a dirty patch, clean patch and a patch for the bass guitar. I did not make it overly complicated at all. It should be noted that my album is crossover/punk/metal and doesn't really require a large pallet of various guitar tones to achieve the desired results. I did switch up the dirty sound via swapping out amps once or twice to create a different solo tone or secondary guitar tone now and again but even this was somewhat rare. Most guitar effects were applied after the fact with the effects built into Ableton as well as a couple of other VST plug-ins and not applied at the AxeFx level. However, I used the AxeFX effects for some of the clean guitars and a few things here and there.

Not sure if that was helpful at all but hopefully it provides another perspective!

As a side note, let me promote myself for a second and tell you that my album is completely free and the link is in my signature. :D
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
I guess like everything else, there is no right or wrong way to do things. I'm going to to try using the analog outputs as well.
All my guitar tracks in PT are mono, so I don't use stereo effects in my presets.
Then either L or R work the same in PT.

I'm running PT 12.8 Native on Windows 10 with an Apollo 8P and love it.
 

Gebella

Regular
Would it be better using the spdif in and having the project be at 48k or running into the interface through the analog in and then setting the project at a higher rater, like 96k?
 

mwd

Forum Addict
Would it be better using the spdif in and having the project be at 48k or running into the interface through the analog in and then setting the project at a higher rater, like 96k?
Opinion only but, for me, I find that other circumstances far greater influence your final product vs whether the sample rate was above 48. I've hear awesome recordings at 44.1 and some really crappy ones at 96 or greater. Song + environment + a bit of luck will produce a good track. I used analog with my Ultra at 44.1 and S/PDIF with my XL and now my AX8 at 48. All produce fantastic results that far exceed my playing or my ears or any procedure used for the past 4 decades for capturing guitar.
 

SHEPPARD

Inspired
I have used all the options. Digital sounds better than analog. It's quite noticeable to me. As far as sample rates go, Cliff has discussed this in detail. 48k should be fine.
 

GiRa

Forum Addict
As other said, recording in mono means that the channel (L/R) you are recording from does not play any role.

About SPDIF vs analog: it depends on your soundcard preamps. Maybe they do something you like to the sound. Just test it.

Another hint: if you play always in mono and have some post amp/cab effects, it could be a nice idea to record the effects on a separate channel.
If you want to go stereo you can use one of the three outputs only for the effects. The Axe sounds way better than most plugins.
 

SHEPPARD

Inspired
I was under the impression that the axe fx with a digital signal is superior to analog. Analog introduces more noise etc. Is this true that an analog connection can match digital?
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
Would it be better using the spdif in and having the project be at 48k or running into the interface through the analog in and then setting the project at a higher rater, like 96k?
Choosing a sample rate for a project has a lot of factors. You would have to test recording using your gear to determine if 48K or 96K is better for you. And consider SRC (sample rate conversion), various DAW plugin requirements etc.

I find 48K using UAD Apollo works great for my work and my studio.
 

GiRa

Forum Addict
I was under the impression that the axe fx with a digital signal is superior to analog. Analog introduces more noise etc. Is this true that an analog connection can match digital?
Whatever the self-noise of the Axe is, it is way lower than the noise of any electric guitar. As always, choosing what is best to the ears and serves the workflow is the best approach.
 

SHEPPARD

Inspired
Yes, but there is an objective answer to this question. It's that digital for the axe fx sounds better than analog.
 

Strumzilla

Forum Addict
I track with that exact setup. I output the wet (AxeFx) via 1/4 in stereo as well as the SPDIF via mono (technically it's output in stereo, but since it's a mono signal in origin, it's a mono track in my DAW as well), all monitored through the UAD Console into Pro Tools, although I'm sure it would work the same with any DAW. It's invaluable for recording because that dry SPDIF DI keeps your options open if you change your mind, etc. You can reamp via the AxeFx or use it with software modelers or both. SPDIF is my safety net and I won't record without it.
 

simeon

Axe-Master
i have an apollo and i have both the analog outs and the spdif connected to it. i have the spdif muted in console (which only mutes the monitor level). i have the spdif selected as the input source in logic. this means that i'm monitoring the analog inputs and can control the level i hear by adjusting the main output on the front of the axe fx (which is right next to me). the spdif signal is the one recorded (and is not affected by the main out control on the axe). it's just a workflow thing. i do boost the spdif signal a bit in console, using one of the uad plugins. i do notice a very slight difference in the quality of spdif vs analog, but it's very small. if your patches are basically mono, then selecting L or R should sound the same as selecting L+R in your daw. pretty easy to test by recording two tracks and then A/B'ing them. i'm not reamping, so the spdif signal is the same as the analog signal.
 
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